Chess players honor mentor

Tournament a memorial to inspirational teacher

BURLINGTON — One of the favorite times of day for Luke McNaboe and some of his friends at Lewis S. Mills High School came after school, when they would gather in the room of math teacher Mike Rossi for conversation and chess.

“He was friendly and approachable, kind of funny, and he inspired us,” McNaboe said of Rossi on Saturday during a chess tournament he organized with three friends as a tribute to Rossi. “There was always a bunch of us in his room after school.”

Rossi died last year after a brief bout with cancer, but McNaboe and other students haven’t forgotten him. McNaboe and fellow seniors Amber Surveski, Kevin Lindsay and Andrew Sandefur were behind the chess tournament, which drew 125 players to the high school cafeteria.

The tournament was sponsored by the Make a Mark Region 10 Enrichment Fund and drew mostly Lewis Mills students and residents of Burlington and Harwinton. Burlington First Selectman Cathy Bergstrom and Harwinton First Selectman Frank J. Chiaramonte both participated, as did the fund’s chairman, Dwight Harris.


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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar